Dedicated to Providing the BEST Bang for Your Buck!

Don't trust your blade with just any hone!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Want to know more about Imperia La Roccia, our products? Well, this is the place to find the answers. Without giving away “trade secrets”, we’ll do our best to address the best and most frequently asked questions posed by potential buyers and existing customers.

These questions will be updated from time to time as we get asked more and more questions. Your questions are always welcomed, we will try to answer them as quickly as possible in order to assist in your purchasing decision.

New Hones

About Us:

In 2013 two guys from Louisiana who shared a passion for shaving with straight razors got together to try to find a good natural slate that was suitable for sharpening their straight razors. After trying many different common hones like the “Dragon’s Tongue” Welsh slate, several Chinese natural slates, Thuringian slates, and (the most expensive) Japanese natural stones, they rapidly came to the conclusion that the more expensive hones did, in fact, produce better edges than cheaper hones. But, did it really “need” to be that way? Well, they had to find out.

Hundreds of natural slate samples from around the world were acquired and tested. Most (like the Chinese natural slate) could do the job. However, from one sample of the same slate to another, they weren’t consistent. Others were outrageously expensive while, others simply weren’t up to the task. They had a passion for this hobby and they weren’t going to be discouraged!


That passion eventually lead them to the slate that became the popular “Imperia La Roccia” (or, ILR Hone). 

Not long after the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, one of the original business partners decided he would retire completely and he gave up his stake in the ILR brand. Fast-forward to mid 2022 and the remaining partner has also retired from the sharpening stone business. So, he sold the business to his brother, Dan Jiles.

Dan is committed to providing the exact same products and customer service that Imperia La Roccia is known for. 

Imperia La Roccia is now based out of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Our mission remains the same as it has been since day one: provide our customers with the very best straight razor shaving products available within a given budget. While, we aren’t the least expensive hones on the market any more, we are definitely “budget friendly”. And no one else offers wet-shaving and straight razor shaving products made with equal quality materials and craftsmanship at a lower cost to the consumer. Also, ALL of our products are handmade, either by us, or by artisans here in the United States of America!

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We guarantee that your new Imperia La Roccia hone will preform to your satisfaction for a period of 1 year from the date of purchase.

The few customers of ours who have had occasion to witness our customer service will undoubtedly say that we are very prompt in getting problems or warranty claims resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. We encourage our customers to reach out to us if they have any issues that aren’t spelled out within this  and we will address those issues on a case-by-case basis.

Abuse and/or damage to the hone (caused by you), obviously, is not covered. So, if you drop your hone and break it, or you abuse it, it isn’t covered. Shipping damage is covered. If you receive a hone that has been damaged during shipping, DO NOT just send it back without contacting us first. You will need to provide photos of the damaged inner and outer boxes so we can determine if the damage did occur during shipping. Once it has been determined that the damage did occur during shipping contact us either by phone or email and we will let you know how to proceed from there and whether or not you need to ship the hone back to us.

Consumable items, such as soaps, wax, and strops, are not covered. Consumables may only be returned if they are unopened and unused.

Perfection 100% of the time is impossible. Our guarantee on our products is designed to handle those situations when we let the customer down. It’s rare that it happens. But, it sometimes does. This policy is the best way to ensure that prices for honest consumers aren’t inflated by people who would take advantage of opportunities to cheat the system. 

If you wish to return an item, you MUST reach out to us via email and let us know that you’re wanting to initiate a return. A note containing your contact information AND whether you’re wanting a refund or replacement will also need to accompany the returned merchandise. If you fail to do either of these two, we can not issue a refund. It is FAR too easy for the shipping company or postal service to damage the name on the package. Thus, making it impossible for us to identify you and issuing you a refund or replacement.


Any returns other than warranty issues will have a 10% return fee in order for us to recover processing charges we pay for each transaction.

This guarantee/warranty is extended to the ORIGINAL PURCHASER of our products. It is non-transferrable.

Refunds are for the product only, we will not refund shipping cost that was charged on the original order or from you for the return. 


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Typically, we can ship out your order the day after purchase. However, sometimes, shipping may be delayed an additional day or two. Orders placed after noon on Fridays and on weekends should ship on the following Monday (Tuesday at the latest).

In January of 2021, we noticed a dramatic increase in the number of orders that were delivered late (deliveries taking upwards of 1 month for domestic and 3 months for international) by the USPS. To combat such gross incompetence, we have since switched our preferred shipping carrier to UPS. We do still encourage customers who are only buying soap to continue opting for USPS for their purchase since, they do have drastically lower rates for smaller items that will fit in a #0 mailer. However, for all other purchases, we strongly recommend spending the extra couple of dollars and choose UPS. They offer much better customer service in the unlikely event that there is shipping delay. Also, their shipping times are MUCH more consistent than the USPS. UPS also sends delivery notifications via email so you know exactly when you will receive your order.

USPS will remain a shipping option upon checkout. But, be warned, they are VERY unreliable and it may take an unreasonably long time for your order to get delivered.

International Customers:

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First and foremost, we DO NOT make a profit off of ANY of our shipping!

It has come to our attention that both UPS and the USPS are BOTH charging very high prices for international shipping. We would like for it to be known that the rates you are quoted at checkout are pulled DIRECTLY from both UPS and the USPS. There is no additional mark-up on our end. We are unsure if the high rates quoted by UPS are a result of the higher price of fuel, the higher cost of employees, or a combination of both. BUT… we would HIGHLY encourage you to review all of the different shipping options available at checkout. Some are far less expensive than others.

The USPS also has higher rates before and during the Christmas season. However, their rates do appear to be more level overall than UPS.We do not collect import duties or VAT taxes for your country. If you believe the amount you pay in import fees, VAT fees, and customs charges is too high, you should take that up with your government. We’re on your side. The less you have to pay to your government when you buy from us, the more international sales we make. 


International Customers (continued):

If you place an order that is being shipped outside of the United States, YOU are responsible for the import duties. If you refuse to pay those import duties, you leave us with one of three options: 1) Pay the import duties for you (NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!)
2) Pay to have the item shipped back (this usually costs upwards of $150-$200 USD) so, this isn’t going to happen either. 3) Abandon the package. 

We will generally choose option 3 because it’s the cheapest option. However, you will NOT receive a refund if you refuse to pay the import duties. We have paid for the shipping and no longer have our merchandise through no fault of ours. 

Again, you will NOT receive any refund if you refuse to pay the import duties and force us to abandon the shipment!

Odd Orders:

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What’s an “odd order”??? Good question. 

Our typical customer orders one hone. Maybe two different hones. Rarely does someone order multiples of the same stone. While we’re more than happy to fulfill larger orders, we need to be cautious for our sake and yours.

If you wish to make an order of more than 2 of the identical hone, please contact us first. Otherwise, your order will be cancelled. Again, this is for your protection as well. We want to make sure it’s actually you that’s using your credit card or your PayPal account.

Origin of our Stone:

We realize that this has been a question that has been brought up from time to time on a few of the elitists on the shaving forums.

Here’s our official response: It comes from Mother Earth.

Elitists would have you believe that the only way you’ll get a decent edge on your razor is by purchasing a Japanese natural stone. They’re wrong. No other way to put it. Others will swear that the “best” and easiest to use stones for a beginner are synthetics. Again, they’re wrong.

Our hones have been proven time and time again to be economical, easy to use, and EXTREMELY effective at putting a great, comfortable edge on just about any straight razor.

Difference Between "Standard" and "Premium" Hones:

If you’re familiar with the differences between Thuringian hones and Escher hones, then, this will make sense.

All Escher hones are Thuringian. However, not all Thuringians are Eschers. Escher picked out the very best Thuringian slate and made it into hones. We have basically done the same with our premium hones. We receive bulk shipments of slate and test each slab to insure it’s suitable for honing razors. Once we’ve determined that it’s good and we’ve cut it into hones, we grade it. Some of the cut hones may still have inclusions or there’s too much difference in aggregate size. Those get thrown away. Most will have slight layering; and those end up being our standard hones. A small percentage out of every slab will be pristine. Those end up as premium hones.

Our standard hones have their edges beveled (with greater attention given to the honing side) and finished to 400 grit.

Our premium hones also have their edges beveled (again, greater attention to the honing side) and hand-finished to 1000 grit. The hone is then individually razor-tested. Meaning, we actually place blade to hone and test it. The accompanying slurry stone also has its edges beveled. Premium hones are much more labor intensive to produce. Thus, the higher price. A slurry stone is also provided with all premium hones.

Our Premium hones also include a handsome wood gift/storage box.

Our “Standard” hones are good. But, our “Premium” hones are guaranteed to be the best of the best we have to offer.

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Thank you for your interest in Imperia La Roccia. If you have any questions or inquiries not answered here, please feel free to email us at

Dr. Matt's Review of our Premium Latigo Strop

We have sold LOTS of our 3″ Premium Latigo Strops all over the world! What makes them great? We use only the best latigo calf hides available, we couple that with a high attention to detail and a beautiful design! We PERSONALLY make each and every strop ourselves!

Dr. Matt does a great review or our strop in one of his latest videos. Congratulations to the winner of that strop!

These strops are made with the finest calf latigo leather and adorned with genuine Horween football leather handles and tops. High polished brass swivel snap, hand-peened copper farrier’s rivet, our own special “fire hose” material, and “Imperia La Roccia” embossed in gold finish off our 100% handmade strops.

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